I returned from Washington, DC last Sunday where I took part in the June 25-26 Elliot Masie Seminar "Skills for Online Trainers." I had previously participated in one of his two-hour satellite sessions, but that didn't begin to prepare me for the energy and expertise I experienced at the two-day seminar session.
A little background - Elliot is the author of a dozen books, (his latest, Learning in the Digital Age will be out this November), has presented programs to more than 450,000 professionals throughout the world, consulted with more than 2,900 organizations, ranging from the Central Intelligence Agency to Walt Disney and advised a host of government agencies. He's a consummate professional, who thrives on teaching, coaching and humorous inspiration. Most important, he models his learning/technology methods.
During the two-day session an Intranet setup of 30 computers gave all 60 participants maximum hands-on experience. We explored a wide variety of software, began the team creation of an Orientation Program, using the software we had explored and discovered that we would continue on as Virtual Teams of four people each, to complete our Project during the coming months.
While we were working, we were learning about and modeling instructor skills, being challenged with "real-world" updates for our Projects, understanding the critical need for support, finding out about learning and cognitive research, dialoguing while rotating in small group situations and having a "great time." Throughout the session, Elliot was not only down-to-earth but also very approachable. Each Team Project will receive personal feedback, with an award given to "the outstanding Orientation." It is notable that a portion of all Masie Center profits is donated each year to charities working in the field of technology and learning. The workshop was one of the best I've experienced.
Elliot will be in Madison as one of the Keynote Speakers at the 14th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, August 5-7, 1998. Information about the Masie Center, its November TECHLEARN '98 Conference and its TECHTRENDS newsletter can be found at: www.masie.com.
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Instructional Design at Instructional Communications Systems
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